Larry Fink Works to Prepare Next Generation of BlackRock Leaders

(Bloomberg) -- BlackRock Inc. Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink said he’s working to prepare the next generation of leaders of the world’s largest money manager and doesn’t intend to stand in their way.

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“I don’t want to be somebody there sitting there just blocking and tackling,” Fink, 71, said Wednesday in Washington at an event about retirement that was organized by Axios. “When I do believe the next generation is ready, I’m out.”

“I may be out as a CEO, I may stay as a chairman, but I’m not going to be a blocker,” Fink said. “As a founder of my company, I am passionate about having the next generation running it.”

Asked how President Joe Biden should think about the question of retirement, Fink called it “a personal decision.” Biden has faced increased calls from within his own party to step aside after a shaky debate performance on June 27.

“He has to think about it,” Fink said. “It’s important for him and his family and his role and his job.”

Fink and BlackRock — with $10.5 trillion of client assets — raised concerns about the retirement system earlier this year.

BlackRock released a survey Wednesday finding that many US workers and retirees fear they’ll outlive their savings. More than two-thirds of employed baby boomers surveyed said they’d like education on retirement-income strategies long before they stop working.

In March, Fink used his annual letter to make the case that baby boomers should fix the retirement system, urging policymakers and corporate leaders to rethink how people save for and spend after they stop working.

The CEO questioned whether 65 should still be the conventional retirement age, saying health care advances have made it more likely that people will live longer and need more money as a result.

The focus on retirement this year also emphasizes a core part of BlackRock’s investing business since its 1988 inception. In his letter, Fink wrote that more than half of the money BlackRock manages is for retirement — whether for pension accounts, target-date funds in 401(k)s or other types of investments.

--With assistance from Erin Fuchs.

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